"On Feb. 18, 1943 the first formal graduation of nurses of the 349th Air Evac Group was held at the base chapel at Bowman Field, Ky. The 30 members of this group had completed a program of instruction that was definitely in the experimental stage. The 4-week course included class work in air evac nursing, air evac tactics, survival, aeromedical physiology, mental hygiene in relation to flying, training in plane loading procedures, military indoctrination and a one-day bivouac.
In his address to the first class, Brig. Gen. David N. Grant said, "Your graduation in the first class of nurses from the first organized course in air evacuation, marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of nursing. Air Evacuation of the sick and wounded is already an accomplished feat, requiring only trained personnel for rapid and extensive expansion." At the end of his address, on the spur of the moment, realizing no one had thought of an insignia for the flight nurse, he unpinned his own miniature flight surgeon's wings and pinned them on the honor graduate, 2nd Lt. Geraldine Dishroon, remarking that the insignia of the flight nurse would be similar to that of the flight surgeon, with the addition of a small "N" superimposed on it. Having created this insignia without authority, difficulty was encountered in having it manufactured as no insignia manufacturer would make the wings without the War Dept.'s approval."
Digitized by World War II Flight Nurses Association